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Timeline of Evolution

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Buried Alive...and Dead
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Learning From The Long Dead

Can you tell what kind of dinosaur this is a fossil of?

Topic

Fossil hunting

Student Exploration

Fossils, fossils everywhere and I can't find a one!

Most everyone has heard of fossils, those remnants of organisms from a bygone time, and some people know how rare it is that any organism that lived will be fossilized. Think about it, if all the animals that ever lived were fossilized, we'd be hip deep in fossils, and we aren't. We know fossilization is rare but people certainly find fossils, so how do they do it? You can find some practical advice in this video if you want to go out hunting for you own fossils! Remember some of the greatest fossil finds have been made by "amateurs".

Extension Investigation

Use the resources below to answer the following questions:

  1. What physical condition are optimal for the creation of fossils?
  2. What can the texture of bone be likened to? What is the texture of weathered bone?
  3. How would the identification of fossils be complicated if bone felt like rock? What would this do to the number of fossils that could be identified? Explain your reasoning fully.
  4. What do you look for if you are trying to find a fossil? What do you do once you find what you are looking for?
  5. If fossilization occurs under specific conditions, what does this say about finding fossils of organisms which live in areas where these conditions don't exist?

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